In the 20th Century, India was fortunate to have had the landmark musician Ustad (maestro) Allauddin Khan in the forefront of musical culture, as he broke the bonds of orthodoxy and closed-mindedness with which the old families and teaching lineages withheld the knowledge of North Indian Classical Music. He endeavored to make that art available for anyone interested and talented, without sacrificing the integrity of it in any way whatsoever. Allauddin Khan’s achievements as a performer was historic in itself – a musician who would be remembered as one of the greatest virtuosos and musical thinkers of all time. At the same time, his service to India and the world in bringing this ancient art out to common society is perhaps an accomplishment paralleled only by the great social reformers of our time. It is impossible to sketch the life-portrait of a man of such scope, particularly as Ustad Allauddin Khan’s achievements spanned close to a hundred years. He lived for over a century and continued his work until his very last days. This book has endeavored to give the reader a glimpse of his extraordinary life, as an artist, as a historically significant contributor to this great art, and as a man of the noblest character.
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